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Backpacking Bishop Pass w/ Friends from San Diego & Deuter Packs

August 21st, 2014 By   

Adam Broderick manages the web content at Tahoe Mountain Sports. When he is not in the office, he tries his best to be in the field doing something awesome.

bishop-pass-lake-reflection

 

Last Thursday night I met four childhood friends from San Diego in Bishop, California. In case you’re unaware, Bishop is like the Gateway to Heaven for outdoor enthusiasts. A geological hotspot lying on the San Andreas Fault, what lies beneath ground is intriguing and unpredictable. If you’re the type who springs for a nice dip in a naturally heated tub, the countless hot springs near Bishop should do you just right. The terrain in this area (think Mammoth Mountain, June Lake, Mono Lake) offers world-class rock climbing, hiking, biking and, in winter, skiing and snowboarding. So, to say my friends were pleasantly surprised with the views they woke up to Friday morning in the high desert above town would be an understatement. That afternoon, after a couple hours of bouldering at a popular climbing zone called the Buttermilks, we made our way to 10,000’+ in Inyo National Forest.

Looking west toward the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountain range from the town of Bishop, or from anywhere along Hwy 395, most would assume only dirt and rocks could survive in such harsh, dry places. But drive up Hwy 168 to 9,000’+ elevation and it gets incredibly green in the high canyons, where creeks flow to and from high alpine lakes full of beautiful, yet oblivious and tasty, trout. We did a two-day, three-night, out-and-back trip from South Lake. The water level at South Lake was disconcerting, but from then on we were happy to find plenty of sources to fill our hiking water reservoirs from, cast fishing rods into, and even send some 30’+ cliff dives into.

 

deuter-backpacks-bishop-creek-crossing
I have to give a shout-out to Deuter for supplying the 60+ liter backpacks so my friends from San Diego could carry some extra luxuries and really enjoy themselves out there. They don’t go quite as lightweight as this seasoned backpacker (mind me while I toot my own horn), but they truly impressed me with their abilities to keep moving forward as their bodies fought the altitude change and physical demands before them.

 

power-practical-powerpot-charge

Charges while cooking via USB

 

 

We only ate one fish between the five of us, although Brandon must have caught at least fifteen. We had plenty of dehydrated camping food and other snacks ideal for backpacking, so consuming something wild for the helluvit seemed silly. Still, the guys wanted to cook one up so I went along with it. Plus, I wanted to try charging my phone (set to Airplane Mode, but I still use it as a camera) with the new PowerPot from Power Practical.

 

 

 

 

 

switchbacks-bishop-pass-hike

My BBB (Best Backpacking Buddies – cheesy, I know, but we had fun acting less our age) pose on some of the steeper switchbacks of the hike. This is part of the climb over Bishop Pass; we spent our nights at awesome lakes on either side.

 

 

mountain-hardwear-thermostatic-yoga

A little yoga to get the juices flowing before breakfast.

That’s my favorite jacket for cool-weather camping, my Mountain Hardwear lightweight puffy. It keeps me warm (60 grams of synthetic insulation), packs down small, doubles as a pillow and doesn’t get torn to shreds when I rough it up on rocks. It’s usually too warm as a mid-layer under a ski jacket in the Sierra, but ideal in colder weather than California sees and perfect for three-season backpacking.

Read the rest of this entry »

Big Tahoe Weekend: Annual Summer Gear Sale & Ta-Hoe Nalu Festival

August 13th, 2014 By   

We hope you’re ready for a big weekend in Tahoe! With the oldest stand up paddleboard event coming through town, in addition to our massive annual summer sale on outdoor gear, you’ll want to be here to enjoy all the action!

summer-sale-outdoor-gear

Tahoe Mountain Sports is taking 20 to 70 percent off outdoor gear in downtown Kings Beach (8331 North Lake Blvd) during our Seventh Annual Summer Blowout Sale. A few exclusions apply, but almost everything in the store will be marked down ridiculously low all weekend long, starting Friday at 10:00 a.m. and running through Sunday at 6:00 p.m.

Find excellent deals on camping gear like Snow Peak cookware, Mountain Hardwear camping gear, Marmot apparel and hard goods, Black Diamond Equipment for winter and summer sports, Klean Kanteen water bottles and much, much more! Men’s and women’s clothing, hiking shoes for kids, and swimwear from the likes of Patagonia, Merrell and Teva footwear, Reef and and Lole Women are also marked down.

Backpacking backpacks, bike and day packs, and shoulder bag prices get chopped, too, so go ahead and treat yourself to that trekking pack from the Deuter ACT Lite series, an Outdoor Research dry bag, a fashionable and practical Kavu purse or a CamelBak hydration pack.. And, of course, we still have some of the best ski gear and winter clothing from our lack of snow last season, all of which is priced to move!

camping gear north lake tahoe nalu

 

ta-hoe nalu equipment sale kings beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stock up for your upcoming Labor Day vacation, get your back-to-school necessities while they’re on sale, and finish out the summer in style with a cute new bikini, boardshorts or flip flops! Here’s a smart idea: take the initiative preparing for an upcoming winter while saving big bucks on ski and snowboard gear while prices are their lowest!

Whatever your outdoor sporting equipment needs may be, we’ve got you covered! Tahoe Mountain Sports is just across the street from the sandy shore of Lake Tahoe (about a quarter-mile east of the Highway 267/North Lake Boulevard intersection), so stop by for some serious discounts this weekend!

ta-hoe nalu equipment sale kings beach

ta-hoe nalu gear kings beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BONUS: The longest-standing (pun not intended), and one of the largest nation-wide, stand up paddleboard events goes down this weekend! The 2014 Ta-Hoe Nalu races will be held at Kings Beach State Park throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday, with fun SUP-related activities mixed in for the whole family. Check out the Ta-Hoe Nalu Event Calendar for more info.

Tahoe-Nalu-Paddleboard-Race-Kings-Beach

Racers get set at Kings Beach State Park.

Both our annual summer gear sale and the Ta-Hoe Nalu Stand Up Paddle Festival will be going on Friday-Sunday from 10-6 in Kings Beach. Come visit us in the shop to find the coolest and hippest in summer gear. We’ll see you this weekend!

Overnight Trail Running Lake Tahoe – Philosophy and Preparation

August 13th, 2014 By   

This post comes from Chris Cloyd, a TMS Ambassador and lover of endurance sports. When Chris isn’t training for his next big race or out exploring the Eastern Sierra on foot or bike, he’s managing the Performance Training Center by Julia Mancuso. Watch for more race reports, gear reviews and fun reading from Chris and other Ambassadors of Tahoe Mountain Sports.

Chris just returned from a wild overnight run through Desolation Wilderness. We thought, You’re going to run through the night? He actually slept out there, but he packed ultralight gear and ran to and from camp, thus making this an ‘overnight run’. Here’s the first half of his adventure, Philosophy and Preparation. We’ll hit you next week with the actual trip report, so stay tuned.

overnight-running-desolation-wilderness

“It’s the best environment for solitary peace of mind that you can find. It’s why we go…” – Chris Cloyd, Mornings On Trail

 

Philosophy and Preparation

Distance running has never seemed all that appealing to me: monotony, pain, and a lack of grand scale (as a road cyclist, the ground you can cover in a single is much greater and, as a result, that undertaking has always taken preference with me). Living at Lake Tahoe, however, has redefined what possibilities exist by way of distance running for me. The bounty of trails and truly world-class wilderness here have swayed me, and the allure of running into the woods and exploring what our world has to offer has overcome me.

I’ve spent the better part of three years building not only the fitness but the wilderness readiness skill set to open up the idea of overnight trail running, unsupported. This is not a new idea – many have done this before me (including my small group of friends that agree this is a good idea) – but it is new to me, and I have taken many pains to progress at my own speed, slowly pushing deeper and deeper into the realm of possibilities this activity has to offer. Please, before you go running into the woods with no plan and just a bottle of water, take the time to build a skill set and game-plan that suits you and your goals.

When I first became interested in overnight trail running, it was a result of reading about fastpacking and the new options that existed therein. I am also exceedingly interested in ultralight alpinism, so the idea of pushing fast-and-light appeals to me. I lack the background at this time to pursue any sort of committed alpinism (and I know this) but I felt as though my background as an endurance athlete would suit pushing fastpacking to the next level. I felt (and continue to feel) that my greatest opportunity to see the Tahoe Basin’s wilderness expanse would be on foot, and that speed and mobility would open up more windows than persistence and time could.

This past weekend I put over a dozen trial runs and experimental pushes to the test before setting out on my most ambitious effort yet. My goals were two committed, long runs and a chain of two of Desolation Wilderness’ tallest peaks (Mt. Price and Pyramid Peak), all solo and unsupported.

In preparation for this trip, I built upon the “packing list” that I’ve developed over the last few months of trials. The “musts”: be light, be small, be sufficient, be reliable. I need my gear on these runs to be light so that my pace in the backcountry isn’t compromised. It needs to be small, so that I don’t have to run with more than an endurance running vest (a pack of more than a dozen or so liters, in my view, would compromise running gait and, as a result, speed and efficiency). My gear must also be sufficient: I need enough calories, water, electrolyte supplement, and clothes to last days and nights on my own. Lastly, I need my gear to be reliable (and this is the most paramount of all of my “musts”). Weight/space savings mean nothing if the gear I’m relying on fails me in the wilderness.

Making the cut:

- an Ultimate Direction Peter Bakwin Adventure Vest. My choice for a “pack”, due to its weight/size and features (bottle holsters, storage volume, ergonomics, etc.).

- a Katadyn Hiker Water Purifier. More reliable than a Steripen (I’m not too enthused about entrusting my life to an abundance of technology in the wilderness) and, to me, more tried-and-true than some other options on the market. I recognize that there are some smaller/lighter options (Sawyer makes a popular product), but for the time being the penalty on space/weight is small enough for me to stick to my guns. I am open to exploring other options in the future, though, and would love to find a new product that improves the experience. Beyond all of this, Katadyn filters make the water taste delicious. I anticipate drinking from shallow creeks, snowmelt pools, etc. when I’m out there, and the last time I swallowed some moss and silt while sipping I ran six miles with a pretty awful taste in my mouth (before I finally managed to cough it up). I’d rather carry a bit more weight than use an alternative (Aqua Mira is the high mark for weight savings in water purification) and tolerate that taste again. Moreover, I feel that if I can’t handle an extra 10-oz or so then my legs aren’t as strong as I think.

- a Grand Trunk ultralight hammock is my solution to the sleep quandary. Light, easy, and effective. I use two pieces of paracord to lash it to two trees, and try and set it tight and low to the ground (mimicking a stable sleeping surface as much as possible).

- a SOL Emergency Bivy. The best insulation for your buck: both in terms of cost and weight/space penalty. I’ll never do another overnight without one.

- thermal socks, long-sleeve top, tights, and gloves. I use winter base layers here, and they serve well to keep you insulated at night. I’ll bring a light beanie in colder temps, but use a running headband for warmer nights.

- Sunscreen not only saves you from skin cancer, etc., but it also keeps your hydration regulated and keeps you more efficient while running. If you’re running at elevation (everything we do up here), this is even more important.

- Fuel. This is largely personal, but my friends and I make our choices here largely based on calorie-to-weight ration. A good endurance trail mix, jerky, and small sandwiches (Nutella and almond butter on cinnamon raisin bread is my personal favorite) paired with bars and emergency gels get my vote. I know it seems challenging to do two strenuous days with an overnight in the wilderness with no cooking equipment or normal “meals”, but trust me, it can be done. This barrier was broken for me when reading about multi-day high-alpine climbs done in the mountains with no stove – if those guys and girls can get by without one, I’m pretty sure I can get through a single night in the woods without one.

pyramid-peak-lake-aloha-desolation-wilderness-photography

“Sunscreen not only saves from skin cancer, but keeps hydration regulated and keeps you more efficient while running.”

- Electrolyte replacement. This is (along with water purification) the most important part of my pack. I know I can go a day or two without much or any food (although my muscles would hate me), and I know I can survive a cold night, but without water and electrolyte replacement my muscles will shut down and limit my speed to a crawl. This lack of mobility in the wilderness could mean serious harm, or worse, and it’s not a risk I’m into taking. Nuun tablets are my product of choice, and on hot/humid trips I’ll supplement that even more with Saltstick tablets.

- a reliable headlamp. Purely a safety issue – you don’t want to get caught in the dark and not be able to move quickly to an overnight destination.

- MAP. Don’t be reckless and ever go into the wilderness without a map (and I do mean a PAPER MAP, not a .pdf synced to your phone – again, don’t leave your life in the hands of technology in the wilderness). This is the lightest/smallest piece of gear that carries the most benefit, and is a must-have. I recommend the National Geographic maps for topographic and trail detail.

- lighter, fire steel, and tinder/starter paper. If you’re going when the overnight lows get down close to freezing, this can be a lifesaver at best and a pleasant luxury regardless. Fires aren’t permitted everywhere, especially in high fire danger seasons, so be aware of regulations. Don’t be that guy or girl that burns the forest down.

- personal luxuries. Travel toothbrush and toothpaste, cellphone (in a waterproof phone bag for rain readiness, on airplane mode to conserve battery life), mosquito net, and compressible sleeping bag. This is the chapter of today’s entry where all of the weight junkies will crucify me. These items regularly make the cut on my trips, although they’re purely luxury choices. A toothbrush and toothpaste (travel sizes) take up almost no space and weight, and really go a long way to freshen you up in the morning. I bring my cellphone in case of emergencies, and for photography. A bring an ENO Bug Net for my hammock, because mosquitos are prevalent up here in the Tahoe Basin and they LOVE me. This is a humongous space/weight penalty, but it’s worth every once for me – it’s oftentimes the difference between a rejuvenating sleep or a handful of sleepless hours being eaten alive. It may not be for you – make your own decisions on your trips. On colder nights (below 50 degrees or so) I bring my Sea to Summit Spark 2 sleeping bag. It’s extremely light and compresses into very small, packable item. When I’m going out for multiple ambitious days, sleep is critical – it’s when the body can regenerate and support more effort the next day. Weight/space penalties that allow for a better/fuller sleep are worth it, in my view.

 

trail-run-overlooking-desolation-wilderness

“The allure of running into the woods and exploring what our world has to offer has overcome me.”

You may choose to bring more or less on your outings, but I encourage you to experiment. Start slow, with shorter runs and less-committing overnight destinations. Give yourself “outs” if things go wrong. Don’t try and superhero a huge run (or two) the first trip. Consider going with a friend, or run to meet friends who are out backpacking/camping – there safety in numbers and a silly mistake that could cost you while solo is sometimes easily mitigated in groups.

 

Now that you’ve enjoyed the first installment of Chris’s Overnight Trail Running Lake Tahoe, be sure to check back next week for the step-by-step adventure report. And if you haven’t subscribed to the blog, be sure to do do via the link at the top of this page. We’d hate for anyone to miss out on all our great content!

 

2XU Compression Calf Guards
2XU Compression Calf Guards
MSRP: $44.95

 

30 Hikes in 30 Days in the Lake Tahoe Basin

August 12th, 2014 By   

tunnel creek trail hike lake tahoe

TMS Ambassador Justeen Ferguson aka @SummitHunnies is tackling a major pedi-project this summer. She’s hiking a new trail in the greater Lake Tahoe area each day and reporting back to us with details. Most are family-friendly. Some involve 4WD roads, some are strictly singletrack, and several are straight-up bushwhacks. Here are her first ten hikes. Stay tuned for twenty more.

What: #1-10, 30 Tahoe Day Hikes in 30 Days
When: July-August, 2014
Gear Used (and sworn by):
Lake Tahoe Basin Adventure Map, Comfortable Hiking Shoes, Kiss My Face Sunscreen, Deet-Free Bug Repellent

*Take this information and use it as you will. Tahoe Mountain Sports is not responsible for accident, injury, or anyone getting lost trying to replicate this Summit Hunnie’s routes. 

Day 1 – Grass Lake
Grass Lake is located near South Lake Tahoe. This trail starts at Fallen Leaf Lake and winds out through Desolation Wilderness, passing a variety of waterfalls, streams, and swimming holes along the way. This is a mild hike that the entire family can enjoy. The trail varies from dirt to some granite and has a few spots where stream jumping becomes necessary (nothing too large, however). This hike provides spectacular views of different mountains and meadows and plenty of wild flowers. Once you get to Grass Lake, the views get even better. You can hop in and cool off, have a picnic and even camp out if you’re willing to brave the wilderness overnight! It’s an easy hike for just about anyone!

grass lake hike waterfall tahoe

 

grass lake tahoe hiking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 2 – Cascade Falls
Cascade Falls is located on the West Shore and sits above the infamous Emerald Bay. This is one of the shortest hikes in the basin. It is perfect for the novice hiker, but when you reach the falls the adventure does not have to stop. There are plenty of trails that leave from here and take you to the top of nearby peaks, or farther out into Desolation Wilderness. This is one of those hikes that can be as hard or as easy as you make it. Once you get to the falls, there is an amazing view overlooking both Cascade Lake and Lake Tahoe. Perfect for hikers of all ages and abilities.

cascade falls lake tahoe day hikescascade falls sunrise emerald bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – Heavenly Ski Resort- Roundabout Trail
Heavenly Ski Resort is most famous for its wintertime fun. However, the ski slopes provide for excellent hiking in the off-season. This round-about trail starts at the base of Heavenly and winds its way up the mountain to the top of the resort, overlooking the Double Black Diamond runs Gunbarrel and The Face, and an amazing view of Lake Tahoe. This trail provides a bit of a challenge as it is uphill the entire way, but the way down is all downhill! The other good news is the views of South Lake Tahoe help ease the leg pain as you make your way to the top! So would having some poles made for hiking, if you have any. This hike is recommended for those who hike some, but by no means do you need to to be an expert. It’s fun to get out and see the resort when it’s not covered in snow!

heavenly roundabout trail sunset

heavenly roundabout trail tahoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 4 – Corral Loop, Power line & Big Meadow
These trails are in South Lake Tahoe and start way back out in Meyers off of Pioneer trail. They are mostly used for mountain biking, but also make for excellent day hikes. There are so many ways to go from the trailhead so you can easily use the beginning for multiple routes. Its pretty soft and sand so it makes the down hills a bit tricky but there are a few spots where the lake peeks out and the tedious up hills become worth it! If you choose you can even make it to heavenly ski resort! Although you’re allowed to hike these trails, keep your eyes and ears open for mountain bikers flying downhill.

power line trail lake tahoe hikingpowerline bike trail lake tahoe hiking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 5 – Shakespeare Rock
Shakespeare Rock is on Tahoe’s northeast shore, near Glenbrook. This is an amazing, must-do hike! Not only does the peak resemble Shakespeare, but there is a miraculous cave that leads out to an incredible view of the east side of the lake. It is a challenge to get to the top because it goes practically straight up the mountain, but the cave itself makes it worth the trek and the view from the top is breathtaking. This is easily one of my favorite hikes in the Lake Tahoe Basin. You’ll find little-to-no people on this trail (many locals don’t even know about it), and it’s the perfect hike for sunset as the sun disappears behind the West Shore; you have the best seats on the lake for viewing.

shakespeare rock tahoeshakespeare cave lake tahoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the rest of this entry »

Review: La Sportiva Bushido, Trail-Mountain-Sky Running Shoe

August 9th, 2014 By   

Adam Broderick manages the web content at Tahoe Mountain Sports. When he is not in the office, he tries his best to be in the field doing something awesome.

La Sportiva Bushido

“Incredibly flexible, with phenomenal support and traction.
I was surprised how well it flexes underfoot considering how robust it feels in-hand.”

la-sportiva-sky-running-shoes

Designed in the Dolomites, so you know they’re good.

I’ve put just over 100 miles on these badhawks, and by now it’s safe to admit they’re my favorite trail shoe to-date. In the past year, I’ve run in Salomon’s, Inov-8’s, Altra’s and The North Face’s. My Salomon S-Lab’s fit like a glove and perform great in technical terrain, plus use a simply genius lacing system, but they lack the protection underfoot and the 4WD capabilities the Bushido offers. My TNF’s provide the cushion and support I desire, especially on rocky terrain, but they’re not quite breathable or flexible enough. My Inov-8’s protect underfoot and have good traction, breathe well, and flex great, but don’t provide the lateral support I need. Same goes for my Altra’s. Although they boast the wide toe-box I appreciate so much, and until I tried the Bushido were my go-to’s, they also lack lateral support. It’s funny because after I’d modified my Altra shoes by adding Salomon’s quick-laces, I swore they were the ultimate trail running shoe. Then I got the Sportiva’s, and I’ve gone back and forth, alternating through the aforementioned pairs, but keep finding myself coming back to the Italians.

la-sportiva-bushido-shoes-action-shot

When I first got them I was hardly running due to a knee injury. I was afraid to get back into my Inov-8’s or Altra’s because my right foot was dramatically pronating and each time I ran I felt like I reversed any recent rehab. But on July 3 I laced up the Bushido’s and headed up the hill behind my house in North Lake Tahoe. I couldn’t believe that I was able to go four miles before my leg started talking to me, and even then it was more of a whisper to “chill a little” than a command to “stop running”. They offered everything I looked for in a shoe, plus the lateral support I had never experienced in something so lightweight and flexible. At just 11 ounces per shoe (size 42.5), it’s amazing how robust and responsive they are. They even have a semi-wide toe-box so my lil’ guys can stretch out. Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Beer Gear of the Year Coming to Reno’s CANFEST Festival

August 5th, 2014 By   

We cannot wait for CANFEST!canfest-peppermill-resort-reno

There’s been a lot of hype building around Reno’s upcoming International Canned Beer Festival, and Tahoe Mountain Sports is excited to be the only outdoor retailer sponsoring the event. We aren’t just looking forward to having over one hundred tasty brews to sample – although, that’s a bit of our motivation. We’re bringing out some really cool products that help beer lovers enjoy their favorite drinks outdoors! We’re calling it Beer Gear, and we’ll have several forms on display at CANFEST. Surely some will be put to personal use during the event, and we will happily give demonstrations, but here comes the best part…brace yourselves…

 

Anyone who attends CANFEST will qualify to WIN BEER GEAR

 

What is this Beer Gear we speak of? Here’s a peak at four of the outdoor products for beer lovers we’ll be showing off:

 
Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Bottles

hydroflask-21ozhydroflask-growlerHydro Flask makes top-quality, double-walled stainless steel bottles that come with a lifetime warranty. Literally. They “guarantee every Hydro Flask against manufacturer defects for one hundred years or one lifetime, whichever comes first!”  From the wide mouth Hydro Flask 64-oz Growler to the flip-lid, 18-oz to 21-oz Hydro Flask bottles, we’ve got what you need to keep your hot liquids hot and your cold liquids cold.

 

 

 

Oakley Jupiter Cooler Backpack

oakley-jupiter-beer-cooler-backpackoakley-cooler-backpackThis versatile Oakley backpack stores up to eight cans in a separate, insulated compartment. Compared to other cooler backpacks we’ve used, the Jupiter is actually quite comfortable with the added weight of beer cans. Stash all your goodies for a day at the beach, a concert at the park, or a hike to your favorite alpine lake. Upon arrival, unzip the cooler pocket and grab yourself a cold one…or three.

 

 

 

 

Klean Kanteen 16-oz Stainless Steel Pint Glass

klean-kanteen-stainless-steel-pint-glassklean-kanteen-pint-glass-bottomNobody likes warm beer. Well, maybe somebody, but we don’t associate with that person. We drink our favorite craft beers out of stainless steel pint glasses so they stay cold longer. Longer than a can or bottle will keep it, and much longer than a glass pint glass or a red keg cup. They’re super lightweight, safer than drinking from plastic, and they make a cool “ting” sound when you drum on them with your fingernails after a couple tasty brews.

 

 

 

Snow Peak 500-ml Kanpai Bottle

snow-peak-kanpai-bottlesnow-peak-kanpai-bottleThis delightful adult toy can keep a 16-oz can cold for six hours without a change in temperature. What’s that? You don’t drink tall cans? That’s cool, you can always stash your two favorite 12-oz cans in the 500-ml Kanpai Bottle. It comes with a “cold lid” and a “hot lid” for different uses. Freeze the cold lid ahead of time to maximize chill time, or, to keep hot drinks scolding hot for up to six hours, use the hot lid with the double wall vacuum sealed bottle and be careful not to burn your mouth.


*TMS is not responsible for injuries due to improper use of beverage containers. However, once you’ve repeatedly benefited from proper use of Beer Gear, we’ll take full credit via positive word of mouth :)

 

This next product is really, really cool and deserves to be included even if it’s not directly related to beer.

PowerPot Thermoelectric Generator

power-practical-powerpotpowerpot-generator-potPower Practical found a clever way to use thermoelectric technology so energy from camp stoves and fires isn’t wasted into the air. The Power Practical PowerPot is clever, to say the least. It’s a cooking pot that allows you to plug into the pot, boil water or make dinner, and charge your phone via USB in any environment (even winter camping). The pot and cord combined weigh only 14 ounces, and just 10 minutes of charging produces approximately 60 minutes of talk time.

 

Sound irrelevant? Well, think outside the box! There are countless ways a PowerPot can benefit beer lovers.

4 Quick Examples:

- Casually enjoy a single can of beer in the time it takes to charge an iPhone 5.
- 3-4 days into a trek, your phone dies. There goes your camera! Fortunately, you can charge it over dinner and still have time for one last inebriated “selfie” before the campfire burns out.
- If you were to run out of water while camping and required cell service to call for help, but your phone was dead, it would only take a few minutes to boil your beer and get enough charge for a distress call.
- Alcohol consumption slightly affects the memory, so in the odd case you forget to pack your other thermoelectric generator, the PowerPot’s got your back. Oh, and since it’s also a cooking set, it saves room in your pack for beer.

I know, I stretched pretty far to justify plugging this piece of gear. I just think the concept’s so great that I couldn’t help but share the news.

 

Score yourself some free Beer Gear:

In a recent interview with CANFEST, TMS Owner Dave Polivy said, “We look forward to bringing down outdoor products that also relate to the beer lover, including insulated growlers, reusable pint glasses, and bottles that will fully encapsulate canned beer.” TMS plans to make their booth fun, interactive and rewarding for all who stop by. “We will show-off recently released products and giveaway prizes on-site, host text to win contests, and utilize social media to engage with the crowd.”

win-2-tix-to-canfest

If you don’t already have tickets, you can score free admission through any of our weekly drawings. Follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss out! Enter each week if you want, since we drain the entry pool weekly. To enter without waiting for our next Facebook giveaway post, submit your email at http://goo.gl/VA7Ci1 and cross your fingers.

BONUS OFFER:

Take 20% off any full-price item at www.tahoemountainsports.com! Enter CANFEST14 at checkout to activate discount. Discount valid until 9/1/14.

 

 

Kelty Folding Cooler - Large
Kelty Folding Cooler – Large
MSRP: $85.95
Snow Peak Titanium Round Flask
Snow Peak Titanium Round Flask
MSRP: $149.95

JTreeRockLife Instagram Contest: Share Rock Climbing Pics to Win!

July 30th, 2014 By   

Win Tip-Numbing Climbing Chalk and a Dopp Kit from Joshua Tree Skin Care!

 

What climber couldn’t use some free organic skin salve for their gnarly knuckles, scrapes and sunburns? And don’t act like your hands are too tough for scented, soothing chalk. That’s like saying you’re too macho to kiss your own mama in public.
Nobody is too tough for Joshua Tree Skin Care products.

 

How to Enter

Share rock climbing photos on Instagram with the hashtag #JTreeRockLife and tag @tahoemountainsports, @jtreelife and one (1) or more of your climbing buddies.

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Tahoe Mountain Sports will pick a winner on August 13 and notify them by leaving comment on Instagram. Winner will be asked to provide shipping information via email.

Winning photo based on cool factor (creativity/relevance), not necessarily the highest quality image or number of likes. Let’s see what you’ve got! Anyone who climbs and can take a photo (or have their friend take one) is encouraged to enter.

Chalk (100 g) contains naturally soothing sources of menthol. Dopp Kit includes Organic Skin Salve (1.7 oz), Sunscreen (.35 oz) and Lip Balm (SPF 15, flavor: Mountain Mint). Must be 13+ years to enter. Winner pays shipping outside continental U.S.

Gear Review: Manduka Pro Yoga Mat – Eco-Friendly, Most Comfortable

July 23rd, 2014 By   

Truckee-Tahoe local Coral Taylor loves riding bikes, exercising, and exploring the Sierras with friends and family. She is a licensed civil engineer who works for the Tahoe City Public Utility District, a passionate yoga practitioner and recently certified instructor, as well as an ambassador for the Team LUNAChix Tahoe Mountain Bike Team. Tahoe Mountain Sports is proud to have Coral representing us as one of our elite TMS Ambassadors!

“This is the mat I would buy for a friend or family member, which means a lot, because I try to spend my money mindfully on quality products.”

manduka-pro-yoga-matWhatManduka Yoga Black Mat PRO, 71”

Where – I got myself a new yoga mat as a gift for completing my 200-hr Yoga Teacher Training this spring. Since then, I have rolled this mat out at home, on my deck, at various studios in Truckee, Kings Beach and Squaw, and even on the lawn at West End Beach of Donner Lake.

Pros – I really appreciate the thickness of this mat; with my bony knees and elbows, it makes kneeling or elbow-based poses much more comfortable than other mats I’ve used, especially on uneven surfaces such as grass or sand. During a recent outdoor class, I was very glad to have this mat, which stayed put while other mats were tossed about in the wind.

I also appreciate Manduka’s commitment to the environment and to its customers; this mat has a lifetime guarantee, which minimizes waste. As a lover of nature and a citizen of planet Earth, Manduka’s sustainability practices such as zero waste and emission-free manufacturing make me feel good about purchasing a new consumer product.

This cool video explains Manduka’s recycling efforts behind manufacturing:

 

Cons – The Manduka PRO Mat is relatively heavy, so if you’re carrying it for a ways or bike commuting, it would weigh you down after a while. Initially, this mat was very slippery, which is pretty common with most new yoga mats. However, the “Break-In” technique recommended by Manduka, which involved sprinkling sea salt then scrubbing the mat with a little water and air drying in the sun, seemed to help. The more I use this mat, the stickier it gets. This mat also has a hefty price tag, but if you look at the return on investment, and plan to buy just one mat the rest of your life, it is well worth it.

manduka-pro-71-yoga-mat

 

Suggestions – I like how Manduka offers some additional color options in their PRO limited edition. It would be nice if this mat was less slippery when first using it, and if the mat could weigh a little less while still retaining the lifetime guarantee and all the aforementioned  cushion, that would be nice as well.

 

Summary – So far… so great!  I love my new Manduka yoga mat and look forward to using it for this lifetime of practice. This is the mat I would buy for a friend or family member, which means a lot, because I try to spend my money mindfully on quality products.

 

 

 

Tahoe Mountain Sports also carries the Manduka eKO Lite and the PROlite mats for those looking for something on the thinner side:

Manduka Yoga eKO Lite Mat - 4mm
Manduka Yoga eKO Lite Mat – 4mm
MSRP: $63.95
Manduka Yoga PROlite Mat 71
Manduka Yoga PROlite Mat 71″
MSRP: $77.95

 

Camping for Two: Testing Relationships in the Tahoe Backcountry

July 12th, 2014 By   

There’s no better way to test a relationship’s longevity than camping. Think you’re in love? Go camping together. You’ll either find out you’re indeed meant for each other or… well, you know, taking out a last-minute life insurance policy is always an option, too. Here are some of the Tahoe basin’s best couples camping spots, which my relationship has survived relatively unscathed.

 camping with your girlfriend

Desolation Wilderness

This federally protected wilderness area sitting to the west of Lake Tahoe comes in just shy of 64,000 acres. It’s packed with peaks, lakes and numerous places to camp. We’re talking about backpacking here, so this is a good place to put optimum levels of relationship-testing stress on yourselves. If 30-pound packs aren’t enough to overcome the miles of serenity, here’s what you can do to make the journey a bit more trying: Start at night, in the rain. That’s what we did my first time backpacking. Fortunately, my better half had previously spent many a night in the backcountry under far worse conditions. Oh, you thought the female was the one you had to worry about in this story? That’s very sexist of you. Jokes aside, she wasn’t worried, so neither was I. The rain and darkness just made for a greater adventure.

When I woke the next morning, stepped out of our tent and got my first look at Lake Aloha, I knew I was somewhere special. We kept on the move and the next few days were a nonstop orgasm for my eyes. You could spend weeks out there without visiting every picturesque alpine lake. If you do choose to spend weeks in the backcountry, show your darling you care by bringing the Nemo Helio Pressure Shower. There’s nothing more luxurious in the backcountry than a hot, pressurized shower.

Lake Aloha, Desolation Wilderness

Lake Aloha, Desolation Wilderness

 

Free Secrets

Rates for car camping are quickly approaching those of Motel 6. That’s probably why I feel like I’m about to give away the secret Indiana Jones fought the Army of the Dead for. Ready? You can camp for free in Tahoe. And I don’t mean sleeping in your minivan in a casino’s parking garage. I’m talking about quality campsites in a woodsy setting. But the only other clue I’m going to give you is that where I’m talking about is on the south side of the lake. I live on the north side. If things get rocky with your significant other while car camping, vacate that collapsing relationship of doom immediately. That’s what Indiana Jones would do.

Breakfast at Aloha

Indiana would also make a killer backcountry breakfast.

Star Lake / Freel Peak

Freel Peak is the Tahoe basin’s tallest summit at 10,891 feet. And it’s a bit off the beaten path. My lady and I haven’t bagged it yet, but we will later this month. Our goal has never been to be the best at exercise, so we don’t need to prove anything by doing it in a day. The plan is to backpack in to Star Lake, which sits at the base of Freel’s neighbor, Jobs Sister. Leaving most of our gear at base camp, Freel should be easily conquered with a mellow day hike.

The hike to Star Lake is actually the more challenging part of this trip, but you’ve got a few options. The shortest involves a miserable trudge up a long, steep, dirt Forest Service access road. We have a lot of experience with this route as it also accesses one of Tahoe’s less-trafficked mountain biking trails. If Freel sounds like a fun adventure for you and your special someone, this route would be a great way to ensure you never have to plan another trip again. Curious about the other options? Stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports and buy a map or a guide book. Or just Google it and add another relationship-risking variable to your foray into couples camping. Make wise choices here and you can probably get away with the romantic Nemo Tango Duo 2-person sleeping bag. Make poor choices and be ready to enjoy a bone-chilling night outside at 9,100 feet. Read the rest of this entry »

Gear Review: Inov-8 TrailRoc 255 Mountain Running Shoes

July 12th, 2014 By   

Formerly a collegiate miler and cross-country runner, Danny Jenkins has run ultras for the past eight years. He is a freelance adventure writer/photographer, fundraiser for youth services and addiction recovery programs, and past community addictions counselor based in Truckee, California. He lives to run free in the Sierra every chance he gets, regularly uses his running to raise money for local charities, and is a founding member of the Donner Party Mountain Runners.

“No matter where I’m running, it will perform well and definitely get the job done.”

inov8-trailroc-255-review

Ready for anything the trail throws your way. Click image for more info.

I’m liking the Inov-8 255‘s. More support than I’ve had in a long time and my legs are appreciating it. Incredible traction, as you might expect from Inov-8, and performs well in just about all conditions and all trail surfaces. It’s slightly heavier than I like, but it’s almost an insignificant factor. The fit is a little wide (for my taste) because I do a lot of technical running (my strength), but this is a shoe I like to call my “rover” – which means no matter where I’m running, it will perform well and definitely get the job done.

 

I am totally confident with these trail runners underfoot on hard-packed dirt, steep ascents, sandstone, granite, fire trails, sharp rocks, smooth single track, and managing technical terrain. Rates okay in the mud, but there are probably better choices if it’s raining and crud is the call.

 

Trail and mountain runners who thrive on good shoe flex will like the 255. It “gives” in technical mountain terrain, yet won’t lend enough freedom to “twist.” The lightweight toe-guard makes for pretty minimal protection in front, but I didn’t have any issues with Superman-type aerials, even on runs at places like Mt. Tallac in S. Lake Tahoe (which brings every type of terrain imaginable).

 

inov8-trailroc-255-trail-running-shoes

Danny flies downhill with confidence.

Comfort factor rates a 9 out of 10, right out of the box. Break-in period was short; maybe 9-10 hours of running and you’re gaining every benefit the 255 has to offer.

 

The TrailRoc 255 is a flexible trail runner (with meta-flex near the toes) that excels in technical mountain terrain. The soft, flexible heal counter helps in lending the shoe a slipper-like feel, while the anatomic last provides a wider toe box than those found on other Inov-8 models. This roomy upper has accommodated thicker socks and some foot swelling on longer runs.

 

The 255 represents the most protective end of the spectrum for Inov-8′s Trailroc lineup, designed with the most cushioning of any TrailRoc running shoe. An ideal shoe for high-mileage training and racing, the 255 blends awesome durability with grip and is capable at a wide range, from 10K trail races to 100-mile mountain ultras.

 

I wore these mountain running shoes on every training run (mountain and trail only) for two months, and I am currently training for the Headlands 100 in Sausalito, Ca., on Sept. 13th. The training territory is North Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Tahoe Donner, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) and any other initial on our local Tahoe trail map. Nothing but trail stoke…..Cheers!     -Danny Jenkins

 

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